Safety Rest Area Strategic Plan

Learn about our safety rest area plan, which informs decisions supporting operations today, and also establishes the vision for the future of the program.

Our Safety Rest Area Program’s mission is to provide the traveling public with a safe, sustainable option for rest during road trips. To continue to meet the mission over time, we are undertaking a strategic planning effort that will determine if the services and assets still meet the needs of all users, and what, if any, changes are needed in the future.

We want to hear from you!

WSDOT is engaging the community throughout all steps of the plan’s development. This is your opportunity to provide input and help us as we plan for the future. We hope to learn about the unique needs of each of our safety rest area users, including motorists, truck drivers, RV owners, volunteers and tourists.  

Give your input by visiting our online open house and take our online survey and tell us about how you use safety rest areas. 

View our current Safety Rest Area Strategic Plan (PDF 171KB).

WSDOT safety rest areas by the numbers

  • 24 million users annually.

  • 47 locations statewide*.

  • 16 RV dump stations.

  • 532 commercial truck parking spaces**.

* Three locations are seasonal. The busiest rest areas undergo short temporary closures throughout the year to accommodate maintenance that cannot be completed when open to the public. Closures are rotated to minimize inconvenience to travelers.

**Most spaces are shared truck/RV based on the safety rest area.

WSDOT’s rest area facilities are aging and need significant repair and improvements. These sites also include heavily used and expensive to maintain critical infrastructure, such as plumbing, potable water, sewage systems and pavement. More than 50 percent of safety rest areas were rated as “poor condition” in 2021 due to years of insufficient funding to keep them in good repair. More than half of rest area buildings will be 50 years or older by 2031 and will need either rehabilitation investment or closure of lesser used facilities.

Updates are important

The Safety Rest Area Strategic Plan was last updated 14 years ago, in 2008. Since then, rest area users’ needs have evolved because of changing technology, social, health, environmental and economic issues, including environmental justice and social equity.

Meeting today’s needs and planning for tomorrow 

WSDOT is updating the Safety Rest Area Strategic Plan in order to: 

  • Preserve and ensure the sustainability of the program.

  • Support changing customer needs because of changing technology, social, health, environmental and economic issues, including environmental justice and social equity. 

  • Evaluate existing assets, funding, identifying core focus areas and considering any changes to operations to ensure the sustainability of the overall program. 


Fall 2021

  • Initiation

Winter 2022 - Spring 2022

Summer 2022 - Fall 2022

Winter 2023

  • Draft plan available for public comment

Spring 2023

  • Final plan published

Traction tires are a special type of tire

manufactured with at least 1/8 of an inch tread. Traction tires are usually marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol, the letters M+S or “All Season.”

Carry chains, practice before leaving

Requiring chains keeps traffic moving during storms rather than closing a pass or roadway.

Prep your car. Fill up your gas tank,

pack jumper cables, ice scraper, warm clothing, snacks and water.